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current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately, are readily available in postrevolutionary libya. and it escalated into a much more violent episode. obviously, that's our best judgment now. we'll await the results of the investigation, and the president has been very clear we'll work with the libyan authorities to bring those responsible to justice. >> was there a failure here that this administration is responsible for, whether it's an intelligence failure, a failure to see this coming, or a failure adequately protect u.s. embassies and installations from a spontaneous reaction like this? >> david, i don't think so. first of all, we had no actionable intelligence to suggest that any attack o
have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi in fact was initially a spontaneous reaction to what transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo which were prompted of course by the video. >> there was a caveat there. she said the fbi was still investigating. but the thought was it was a spontaneous reaction. a couple of days before that, the libyan president said, no, in fact, al qaeda was behind this attack. and then days later, after ambassador rice is on this program and other programs, the president's spokesman jay carney says this. it is, i think, self-evident that what happened in benghazi was a terrorist attack. well, if it was self-evident, why didn't the president call this exactly what it was, an act of terror on the anniversary of 9/11? >> well, this is an event of great interest, obviously, to the public, to the news media. information was being provided realtime. obviously, you're going to know more two weeks after an event than a week after an event. and as ambassado
was suggesting weakness and now the tarke on our consulate in benghazi where four americans were murdered. >> we express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of america. chris: a similar test after the failed mission to rescue the iranian hostages, during the presidential campaign of 1980, governor ronald reagan did not use a vulnerable moment to crilt size president carter. -- to criticize president carter. >> words should be few and confined to our prayers. because of the extremely sensitive nature of the situation, i am convinced that it is and would be inappropriate for me to go beyond the statement i have made to you at this time. chris: david, he certainly looked presidential even then as a candidate. and by not talking at a time of confusion, if you will, this time, however, romney jumped. how do you look at that? >> ronald reagan sounded presidential precisely because he was calm, because he didn't attempt to assert himself. didn't try to take advantage. mitt romney sounded like a presidential can
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